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7th Round #2: T.J. Johnson


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Johnson graduated from Aynor (S.C.) High School in 2008. In his senior year, he earned first-team all-state honors as selected by the Associated Press. Johnson played in the 71st-annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. Rivals.com ranked him as a three star prospect, the 13th-best offensive center in the nation and the 17th-best player in the state of South Carolina. Johnson ultimately chose South Carolina over offers from Vanderbilt, Duke, Wake Forest, East Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland and N.C. State.

Johnson redshirted his first year on campus. In 2009, Johnson was named the Most Improved Offensive Lineman in the spring, and ended up starting every game. In 2010, he started all 14 of South Carolina’s games at center. In 2011 he started all 13 games at center. In his redshirt senior year, Johnson started in all 13 games, and set the University of South Carolina’s record for starts over a career. He was named to the Coaches All-SEC second-team.


STRENGTHS Stands tall, and has a big frame. Carries his weight well, with adequate development in the upper and lower body. Lots of starting experience. Smart players, makes calls at the line. Shows good awareness on blitzes and stunts. Recognizes when his teammates need help and provides it. Finishes plays. Decent at getting to the second level.

WEAKNESSES Inconsistent in his hand placement. Will grab outside the framework of a defender, resulting in holding penalties. Can be overwhelmed with initial quickness or when he is not the first to use his hands. Struggles to sink his hips. Has issues with mirroring defenders in space.


BOTTOM LINE While Johnson lacks overwhelming physical tools, he's got size, smarts, and plenty of experience to back him up. These traits could potentially earn Johnson a late-round selection.

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04/08/2013 - 2013 South Carolina Pro Day: There were 32 NFL teams represented at South Carolina Pro Day on March 27. Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was among the coaches who attended. A total of 18 players worked out on field-turf outdoors in 50 degree weather with 5 mph wind. T.J. Johnson C (6-4 ??, 309 pounds) - He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.27 and 5.23 seconds. He kept everything else from the combine. Johnson hurt his right hamstring after attempting his second 40-yard dash, which is the reason why he didn't finish nor have positional workouts. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com

More T.J. Johnson News


Considering the amount of pass blocking they're usually asked to do, as well as the new-found focus on running the ball (since Marcus Lattimore joined the team), Steve Spurrier hasn't produced highly regarded offensive linemen with the consistency one might expect.

Johnson, frankly, isn't a top notch prospect either, but he does possess the size, toughness and experience to potentially earn a late round selection in April's draft.

Johnson redshirted in 2008. That was the last time he wasn't on the field for the Gamecocks. He started all 13 games a year later at right guard and was switched to center in 2010, where he's earned the nod the last 27 consecutive games.


POSITIVES: Always looking to block someone and continues to fight through the whistle. Effort isn't an issue and he gets the most out of his abilities. Quick hands off the snap and has a lot of experience pulling and getting to the second level. Versatile experience as a four-year starter in the SEC with playing time at guard and tackle.

NEGATIVES: Plays too tall at times and struggles with leverage, getting blown backward off the snap and overpowered at the point of attack. Often overextends and lowers his head, falling off blocks and ending up on the ground. Struggles to redirect and handle secondary moves by defenders. Slow feet and doesn't look comfortable in space. He has shorter arms and needs to improve his hand placement, attracting too many penalties in college.

COMPARES TO: Dallas Reynolds, OL, Philadelphia Eagles

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